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Virgin name Soucek as reserve 23 Feb 2010

Andy Soucek (ESP) Williams FW31 Formula One Young Driver Testing, 1-3 December 2009, Jerez Circuit, Spain. Andy Soucek (ESP) Williams FW31 Formula One Young Driver Testing, 1-3 December 2009, Jerez Circuit, Spain.

Virgin Racing confirmed on Tuesday that Andy Soucek is to join the team as their reserve and test driver for the 2010 Formula One season. Soucek, who won the 2009 Formula Two championship, will work alongside race drivers Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi.

“I am thrilled to be joining Virgin Racing,” said the 24 year-old Spaniard. “This role offers me a great opportunity to prepare myself for the Formula One environment, which is naturally where my longer-term ambitions lie. I look forward to learning from Timo and Lucas as well as soaking up as much information as possible from engineering meetings and time on the simulator.

“I would like to thank (team principal) John Booth and (technical director) Nick Wirth in particular for the faith they have shown in me at this stage in my career. It is exciting and very motivating to be part of a new structure in such a challenging sport and I hope that my experience can contribute a great deal to the development of the car and team in order to help us progress as quickly as possible.”

Soucek enjoyed his first taste of Formula One power last year with Williams at December’s young driver test. Before his F2 success, he competed in GP2 for two seasons and back in 2005 won the Spanish Formula Three series after scoring three wins and a further four podiums.

Following the announcement Booth added: “We are delighted to welcome Andy Soucek to Virgin Racing. He had a very good season in Formula Two last year and a positive F1 test with Williams. He is certainly someone we have been keeping a close eye on as we believe he has a great deal of potential.

“We expect him to be a real asset to our development programme with the VR-01 and at the same time he provides the experience we need should he be required to deputise for one of the race drivers at short notice. We are pleased to have finalised our driver line-up and we look forward to having Andy alongside us in Barcelona later this week so he can spend some valuable familiarisation time with the team.”